ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume I-2
11 Jul 2012
 | 11 Jul 2012


F. F. Asal

Keywords: DEM/DTM/DSM, Interpolation, DEM Quality, Visual Analysis, Spatial Analysis

Abstract. Digital elevation data obtained from different Engineering Surveying techniques is utilized in generating Digital Elevation Model (DEM), which is employed in many Engineering and Environmental applications. This data is usually in discrete point format making it necessary to utilize an interpolation approach for the creation of DEM. Quality assessment of the DEM is a vital issue controlling its use in different applications; however this assessment relies heavily on statistical methods with neglecting the visual methods. The research applies visual analysis investigation on DEMs generated using IDW interpolator of varying powers in order to examine their potential in the assessment of the effects of the variation of the IDW power on the quality of the DEMs. Real elevation data has been collected from field using total station instrument in a corrugated terrain. DEMs have been generated from the data at a unified cell size using IDW interpolator with power values ranging from one to ten. Visual analysis has been undertaken using 2D and 3D views of the DEM; in addition, statistical analysis has been performed for assessment of the validity of the visual techniques in doing such analysis. Visual analysis has shown that smoothing of the DEM decreases with the increase in the power value till the power of four; however, increasing the power more than four does not leave noticeable changes on 2D and 3D views of the DEM. The statistical analysis has supported these results where the value of the Standard Deviation (SD) of the DEM has increased with increasing the power. More specifically, changing the power from one to two has produced 36% of the total increase (the increase in SD due to changing the power from one to ten) in SD and changing to the powers of three and four has given 60% and 75% respectively. This refers to decrease in DEM smoothing with the increase in the power of the IDW. The study also has shown that applying visual methods supported by statistical analysis has proven good potential in the DEM quality assessment.